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Report No. 94

7.13. The established trend in U.S.A.-

The invocation of the constitutional guarantees of civil liberties by the United States Supreme Court has proceeded on lines different from Canada and even though there has been a retreat in recent years, it is unlikely that the trends established in the 50s and 60s would be totally reversed. The general attitude of the Supreme Court of the United States in this matter has been to exclude evidence obtained in violation of a specific constitutional prohibition. The principle was very dramatically stated in a well known case decided in 1952,1 which holds that evidence obtained as a result of violation of a due process right of the accused (right to be free from abusive treatment at the hands of the State authorities) would, if introduced against him a criminal case, itself be a violation of his right to due process.

There the accused was made to vomit up incriminating evidence that he had swallowed. Had testimonial statements rather than physical evidence been coerced out of the defendant, this principle would overlap those for coerced confessions and the privilege against self-incrimination. The case has not yet been applied where the abuse was not perpetrated by or for or with the complicity of the government, or to civil cases.

1. RocIzin v. California, (1952) 342 US 165.

Evidence Obtained Illegally or Improperly - Proposed Section 166a of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 Back

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